Jacksonville Sports Day

RUGBY: Jacksonville Axemen go 2-0 in Win Over Tampa Mayhem

File Photo by nancy Beecher

The Jacksonville Axemen will return for their home opener this weekend following a big win over the Tampa Mayhem. The win brings the team to 2-0 and the match up against the Mayhem was a good test for the Axemen to see how the team would respond under pressure.

Jacksonville received the ball at kick off and got off to a great start, moving the ball all the way down the field. After a kick and chase the Mayhem were tackled behind the try line and the Axemen got the ball back with a line drop out kick to the 40 meters line. Bad passing was lucky for the Mayhem when they caught the ball and were back in business moving down the field.

It was a tough battle for both teams over the next several minutes but the Axemen scored first with a try by David Washington. Nathan Richter’s kick was good for the 2 point conversion and Jacksonville lead 6-0. Getting the ball back the Axemen struck again with a try by Steven Knight on the outside. Richter was 2 for 2 bringing the score to 12-0.

The Tampa Mayhem continued to challenge Jacksonville and they scored just before the water break and closed in with a 12-6 score.

The next 20 minutes were offensively owned by the Axemen with tries scored by Josh Jackson, Jye Montgomery and two more from Steven Knight giving him a hat trick for the first half. Richter’s kicks were good for three of the four conversions at the teams went into the half with a 34-6 score.

The first 20 minutes of the second half was very much a stalemate with no tries scored by either team. Players began to fatigue and succumb to the heat and the Axemen strayed from the game plan and made some mistakes.

With 12 minutes left in the game the Axemen finally scored with another try by David Washington. The conversion kick by Richter was good widening the lead to 40-6. Not giving up the Mayhem scored a try with seven minutes left in the game, narrowing a 40-12 score.

The Axemen closed out the game with two tries from Khaliq Webb over the next 5 minutes. With Nathan Richter out of the game, Jye Montgomery scored the last two conversions and the final score was a convincing 52-12 over Tampa.

“I’m happy with the result,” said Coach Sean Rutgerson. “For the first 20 minutes or so we really stuck to the game plan and got in a tight grind against Tampa and it was some real good footy to watch. As the game went on we started to get more and more frustrated and made some mistakes, Tampa made some mistakes and there was a lot of back chat and bickering. It really took us away from our game and what we were doing. It was detrimental to the whole team, but we managed to get a few more tries because Tampa was more off their game. We need to just stick to what we do best and if we have more self discipline and then we can take it up a notch.”

The Axemen return home this Saturday June 8 to take on the Lakeland Renegades. The newly formed team is coming off a win over Atlanta last weekend and Jacksonville is eager to see what they have in store.

Kick off is 6pm at the UNF practice soccer fields.

Tickets can be purchased at jaxaxe.com or at the gate, general admission is $10, kids 12 and under get in free.

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